Asia Watch: Luxury Lovers … No Longer Unique … Ice Heists
LUXURY LOVERS: A study by Saison Research Institute of Japan has found that 94.3 percent of Japanese women in their 20s have Louis Vuitton goods and 92.2 percent of them own a Gucci product. Among other brands, 57.5 percent of women in their 20s own...
LUXURY LOVERS: A study by Saison Research Institute of Japan has found that 94.3 percent of Japanese women in their 20s have Louis Vuitton goods and 92.2 percent of them own a Gucci product. Among other brands, 57.5 percent of women in their 20s own Prada products; 51.7 percent own Chanel, and 44.3 percent have Christian Dior. About half of women in this age group, or 49.1 percent, own a Louis Vuitton bag, according to the study.
The survey was conducted in the Tokyo area in September 2002 and 1,048 women and men out of 1,200 monitored between the ages of 20 and 60 answered the questions. The institute is a subsidiary of Saison Group.
For all the women questioned, Christian Dior is the must-buy brand, with 78.6 percent owning a Dior product. Among the other top brands, 64.4 percent own a Gucci product; 64.2 percent, Chanel; 63.7 percent, Burberry; 61.5 percent, Louis Vuitton, and 49 percent, Hermès. Within Christian Dior, 29.8 percent of the women questioned have the brand’s cosmetics, while 14.1 percent own scarves and 9.4 percent own other accessories. Women in their 40s and 50s are the most loyal consumers of Christian Dior, said the study.
Among men, 62.1 percent own a Burberry product and 40.3 percent own Dunhill.
Regarding the reasons for buying luxury goods, 43.6 percent of those questioned said, "Its quality and fashion [style] are satisfactory," while 34.5 percent replied, "Because I just like luxury brand goods."
"Young female consumers have luxury brands from overseas for their self-satisfaction, while the elder consumers trust the quality and traditional status of the brands," commented the institute. — Koji Hirano
NO LONGER UNIQUE: Uniqlo, once the hottest retail concept in Japan, has hit problems in the last year and is now scaling back on its Western ambitions. Fast Retailing U.K. Ltd., its British subsidiary, said it will close 16 of its 21 stores in Britain to focus on those in and around London.
Fast Retailing opened its first Uniqlo store in the U.K. in September 2001, with the goal of 50 stores in three years. But "in the new market, the brand recognition for Uniqlo was less than expected and sales at each store stayed low," said the firm. Shops in Knightsbridge, Regent Street, Wimbledon, Richmond and Uxbridge will remain open, but the other 16 units will be closed by August.The company said it still believes the U.K. market has potential, so it will scale back to the five stores to improve its profitability and then perhaps expand again. Under the restructuring plan, Fast Retailing U.K. expects to become profitable for the next fiscal year ending May 2004.
The Japanese firm will take an extraordinary charge of $25.4 million dollars in the fiscal year ending August 2003 due to the downsizing measure. Dollar figures were calculated at current exchange rates.
The first Uniqlo shop opened in 1984. The firm went public in 1994 and experienced fast expansion through the Nineties, when its fleece jackets became the megahit item in Japan. There are now 574 Uniqlo stores, but its growth has stalled. For the fiscal year ended August 2002, the firm announced net profits of $236.4 million on sales of $2.9 billion. — K.H.
ICE HEISTS: Diamonds worth more than $2.4 million were stolen from two different booths on the first day of trade at the Hong Kong International Jewelry Show. One American dealer lost diamonds valued at $1.1 million, while a $1 million necklace was stolen from a Belgian dealer.
Much to the embarrassment of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), which organizes the fair, these thefts mark the sixth major diamond heist in Hong Kong in the last three years. They occurred despite extra security measures, including additional police, undercover agents, private security firms and close-circuit television monitors.
While declining to speak publicly about suspects, local police issued an internal memo warning of the activities of South American syndicates linked to Colombian cocaine cartels. Schmuel Schnitzer, president of the Israel Diamond Exchange, said that such heists do not occur at fairs elsewhere in the world. "The criminals must see [Hong Kong shows] as a soft touch…and I say it very regretfully, but the organizers need to face up to the criticism and they need to implement stronger security measures."
As it stands, many of the more than 1,000 exhibitors hired private security for the fair’s duration. The HKTDC added even more surveillance cameras and personnel after the first-day heists. Despite this, a waist bag containing $5,100 was stolen on day two.Lawrence Yau, a spokesman for the HKTDC, commented: "The jewel thieves are not native Hong Kong citizens — they are overseas professionals. But they are not sophisticated — they use simple diversionary tactics. That is the frustrating point."
The $2.4 million haul at this event brings the three-year total to $14.2 million. In September 2002, diamonds worth $3 million were stolen in three separate robberies at the fair. In June 2001, a man was arrested after trying to steal a briefcase containing $7.9 million in diamonds and, in a separate incident, 60 diamonds worth $640,000 were stolen. In March 2000, jewelry valued at $64,000 was taken and a dealer’s briefcase holding gems worth $205,000 was stolen. — Constance Haisma-Kwok
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)